“Love is a force more formidable than any other. It is invisible – it cannot be seen or measured, yet it is powerful enough to transform you in a moment, and offer you more joy than any material possession could.” ~ Barbara de Angelis
February is the month that gives us an excuse to love a little more, express our love more extravagantly, and hold on to our loved ones a little tighter. It also gives us an excuse to eat more chocolate…right? I say, absolutely! Everything in moderation, though and you need to know specifically which chocolate is best for you.
The easiest thing to remember is the higher the cocoa content, the more nutritious it is for you and according to authoritynutrition.com, a 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-80% cocoa contains:
- 11 grams of fiber
- 67% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for Iron
- 58% of RDA for magnesium
- 89% of the RDA for manganese
- plus, it has potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium!
Dark chocolate is also a powerful source of antioxidants, it may improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, it may protect your skin against the sun, and may even improve brain function. And did I mention it is delicious?
Of course you need to be careful; 100 grams of chocolate is a lot and you probably shouldn’t go around eating this everyday because the sugar and caffeine content in that much chocolate can be pretty high – not to mention the calories. However, a square or two savored after dinner periodically is definitely a delicious treat.
So, if you are buying your sweetheart chocolates this Valentine’s Day, do your research and read the nutrition labels! Buy high quality, organic dark chocolate with high cocoa content (70-80% or more). The higher the cocoa means the less sugar you’ll get and the higher the health benefits you’ll receive. It’s Valentine’s Day after all, and nothing but the best for your dearest!
Read this article for more information on the health benefits of dark chocolate.
If you are looking for a meal to really wow your Valentine (and still be super healthy), you don’t have to make reservations; I have a recipe that you can do at home! This is a high-presentation, high-flavor dish just for this occasion.
I’ve got your menu covered: Filet Mignon with Sauteed Mushrooms, Arugula Salad with Figs & Pomegranates, and Roasted Cauliflower with Shallots & Sea Salt – are you hungry yet?
- 1 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 3-oz organic top sirloin steaks
- cooking spray…
However, since chocolate is a staple for this holiday, you’ve got to try these amazing brownies. Healthy never tasted so good =)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2/3 cups unsweetened coco powder
- 1/2 cup gluten free flour ((Bob’s Red Mill brand is available at most markets))…
If you don’t have a special someone for Valentines Day, be special TO someone! I will be with the Jonathon D. Fischer Foundation celebrating Valentine’s Day with the women that are part of the Dream Center’s Women’s Discipleship program.
These are women who are coming out of alcohol and drug addiction and are changing their lives dramatically and it’s a day where they get to be pampered and loved on. We had such an amazing time last year simply being able to bless them on a day that is all about LOVE. (you can see pictures of the event last year on JDFF’s website here).
Be a blessing to someone this month; love each other!
Happy Valentines Day!
1 Corinthians 13:13 “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”